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4 May 2020

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Ahoy Hot Bottlers!

This week brings little legs to the tadpoles and raises my suspicions that they have somehow discovered the secret to cloning deep beneath my lily pads. There seem to be thousands of them! I’ll keep you posted as to how they get on. Naming them all is going to prove a mighty task so instead I am considering giving them one collective name. So far my top contenders are:

- Biggins
- The Nibblers
- Lovejoy

Any other suggestions?

It was great fun on Saturday Kitchen with Matt on Saturday– and I have a strong recommendation from within the archive of excellence: Theo Randall’s Spaghetti all'Amatriciana from a fortnight ago is so simple to make and really focuses on using brilliant ingredients for maximum impact. I cooked it again last night and just wanted to warmly recommend it to you – it really is worth the effort to source the ingredients, especially the guanciale (cured pig cheek) from Capreolus Fine Foods. Here’s the full recipe from the BBC Food site and a link to watch again.  I paired it with the Passimento Pasqua 2016 from Majestic from £8.99.

I’ll be joining Theo again this week for Great Ormond Street’s very first Virtual Fundraising Gala online! Hosted by Dara O'Briain, guests will hear musical performances from Craig David and Jack Savoretti with a menu by Theo and wines by me, all from the comfort of home! Wonderful to see innovation in action and great causes like this linking into one another’s homes at this time.  All the info you need is here.

I’m thrilled to share that the brand new series of my podcast A Glass With… begins this week. I couldn’t possibly reveal our line-up of guests but if any of you happen to know Pierce Brosnan, he’s welcome anytime. You can catch up with all the previous episodes at the freshly spruced website here.

My Isolation Diary continues on Mail + and this week’s episode is ‘Booze Beyond Wine’ – some incredible pre-made cocktails from Tommy Banks in Yorkshire and Empirical in Copenhagen, two tremendous options to keep our spirits lifted to the sky.

Another week of lockdown brings the chance to explore even more Value Vino.  Here are my choices for this week for you to get stuck into:

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Portuguese Lisboa Red 2017 (13.5%) £7 Rich and brimming with dark fruit, this deep spicy Portuguese blend is a superstar for stews.

Wairau Cove Pinot Grigio 2019 (12.5%) £7 Tesco Dazzling, tropical, fruity and pristine, this white is just too easy to drink! Fab with fish and chips.

This Is... Rich & Smooth Spanish Red 2019 (12%) £5 Marks and SpencerIn store and keep an eye out for it online. Drinkably delish for a fiver, this is a juicy red gem for the price. Perfect with pies.

Co-Op Irresistible Leyda Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (13%) £7 This full throttle bottle is an eruption of lime zest. A stunning solo sip or superb with goat’s cheese salad.

Morrisons The Best Fleurie 2019 (13%) £8.50 on offer. Sharply defined as a cherry in 4K, this winning red is delightful served chilled with lockdown burgers.

You can also find my Value Vino on my Instagram stories every day.

This weekend's Event Magazine will give you all you need to enjoy an online pub quiz with drinks to inspire if not the correct answers, certainly some colourful ones.

It's lovely to hear from you so do keep in touch and hang in there!

And with that, stay safe, keep well and here’s to you!

Olly x

Twitter @jollyolly
Instagram @ollysmith


  Olly Smith